Indians are increasingly prioritizing travel experiences and the long holiday during the festive season is incentive enough to satiate that wanderlust.
The Skift India Newsletter is your go-to platform for all news related to travel, tourism, airlines, and hospitality in India.
While metropolises like New Delhi and Mumbai continue to be on the travel list, leisure destinations like Udaipur, Puri, Goa, Jaipur and Munnar are some of the top searched domestic destinations during the festive season (between November 10-14), according to Booking.com.
Booking.com search data showcases that besides hotels and resorts, travelers are also exploring alternative accommodations offering distinctive experiences, such as homestays, villas and apartments.
Top searched leisure destinations: Udaipur, Puri, Goa, Jaipur, Munnar, Darjeeling, Mahabaleshwar, Varanasi, Puducherry, Lonavala.
Sought-after international destinations: Dubai, Singapore, Makkah, Bangkok, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Tokyo and Hanoi.
In its festive travel report, Kayak had also noted that 72% of Indians are willing to spend similarly or more than last year while travelling this festive season.
Millennials have shown the highest propensity to make international travel plans this festive season, according to the Kayak report.
Kayak also noted that while traveling during the festive season, 72% of Indians look forward to food and culinary experiences followed by shopping and exploring local markets.
Accor’s 24th Novotel In India
Accor announced the launch of its 24th Novotel property in India, with the opening of Novotel Jaipur Convention Centre.
The hotel, located in close proximity to the Jaipur Exhibition & Convention Centre, will be a significant expansion in Accor’s capacity for hosting MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) events. This the hotel company said would allow it to cater to the needs of business and conference travelers.
The hotel and exhibition centre spread over an area of 42 acres and would cater to conferences, exhibitions, gatherings, and weddings.
“This latest addition to our portfolio in India strengthens our commitment to delivering cutting-edge amenities and services. The Jaipur Exhibition Convention Centre represents a valuable expansion that is poised to fuel the growth of the Accor in India, further solidifying our position as a leading provider of large-scale exhibition and convention venues in the country.” said Puneet Dhawan, Accor’s vice-president operations for South Asia.
Air India Launches First-Ever Mumbai-Melbourne Direct
Air India has announced it will be launching the first-ever non-stop service to Melbourne in Australia from Mumbai from December 15.
Frequency: The carrier will operate thrice weekly flights between Mumbai and Melbourne. The flights on the Mumbai-Melbourne route will be operated by Air India’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.
Additional Seats: The new Mumbai-Melbourne services will add nearly 40,000 seats per year into the Australian state of Victoria, where the Indian community is estimated at over 200,000, constituting about 40% of the total Indian diaspora in Australia.
The Market: The new services looks to cater to the growing demand to visit friends and relatives as well as to capture demand for business and leisure travel to the region.
Air India currently operates daily flights to Melbourne and Sydney from Delhi, flying 28 times every week between India and Australia.
In Other News…
Air India has also announced enhancements to its domestic and international distribution networks through extended and expanded multi-year agreements with key GDS (Global Distribution Systems) partners: Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport.
These agreements would collectively allow travel agents, resellers, and corporations worldwide to gain access to Air India’s seat inventory and pricing. The newly expanded agreements with GDS partners now encompass the delivery of NDC (New Distribution Capability) products.
India Makes Northeast More Accessible for Foreign Tourists
With the aim to make Northeast India more accessible and boost tourism, India has simplified the process of obtaining Restricted Area Permits (RAP) and Protected Area Permits (PAP) for foreign tourists visiting border states like Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
Foreign tourists can now explore these states through organized tours provided by local tour operators, according to Anil Oraw, regional director of tourism ministry in Northeast.
Aim: The initiative seeks to create more job opportunities for local residents and tap into the tourism potential in border areas near China and Myanmar. The Indian government intends to permit tourists to visit areas up to four kilometers from these borders.
Northeast Tourism Fugurs: In 2021, the Northeast welcomed 13 million domestic visitors from other parts of India. Several unique villages, such as Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh, are gaining recognition for their distinctiveness, making North East India an increasingly attractive destination for both domestic and foreign tourists.
Atmosphere Core Announces 8 Hotels in India
Hospitality company Atmosphere Core has announced the opening of 8 hotels in India. Following its journey in the Maldives of launching 3 brands and 8 resorts within 10 years, Atmosphere has now sets its sights on India with plans to further expand in South Asia.
Location of Hotels: The hotel company plans to open its properties in Kolkata, Goa, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Coorg, Kannur and Bhubaneswar.
“Our commitment to organic growth, sustainable development, and distinctive brand experiences has transformed the Maldives, and we are thrilled to bring this to India,” said Salil Panigrahi, managing director of Atmosphere Core.
Second Quarter 2024 Openings:
- Ozen Mansion Kolkata,
- Sadar Manzil Heritage by Atmosphere Bhopal,
- Stillwood Retreat a Signature Atmosphere Coorg
- Ozen Privado Goa
Second Quarter 2025:
- Ozen Nandi Hills Bangalore
- Varsā Elements of Nature by Atmosphere Kannur
Second Quarter 2026:
- Atmosphere Bhubaneswar
- Atmosphere Lakeview Kolkata
India Vows to Keep Its Beaches Clean
Realizing the value of maintaining its pristine beaches, coastal communities and urban local bodies in India are embracing initiatives to preserve the natural beauty and health of these beaches, a release from the ministry of housing and urban affairs noted.
Beaches, found in popular destinations such as Visakhapatnam, Mumbai, Chennai, Goa, Kerala, and Odisha, are vital assets for the country’s tourism industry. They attract visitors from around the globe, fueling the local economy, the release noted. However, these beaches are also susceptible to pollution, overcrowding, and the menace of marine litter.
One of the most innovative movements sweeping the nation is “plogging,” a practice where joggers and runners pick up litter while pursuing a healthier lifestyle, the ministry noted in a release.
Beach cleanup drives and restoration activities have become routine to ensure that these coastal treasures remain unspoiled. These efforts are part of the Swachh Bharat Mission Urban, dedicated to enhancing cleanliness and hygiene in urban areas.
Leisure Hotels Signs Boutique Resort in McLeodganj
Leisure Hotels Group (LHG) has announced the signing of a boutique resort in McLeodganj, set to open early next year, emphasizing the hotel group’s commitment to expanding in Himachal Pradesh.
Leisure Hotels has partnered with Belvedere Boutique Himalayan Retreat for the 34-key resort.
Talking about McLeodganj as a destination that presents immense opportunity, Vibhas Prasad, director of Leisure Hotels Group, spoke about wanting to be a preferred choice for travelers from across the country while fostering support to the local community
In Case You Missed Other News from India…
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Photo credit: Indians are keen to travel to leisure destinations this festive season. Udayaditya Barua / Pexels